Harman sends McIlroy packing in Austin
There will be no back-to-back titles for Rory McIlroy in Austin after Brian Harman ended his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play challenge.
Rory McIlroy became the latest big-name casualty at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a defeat to Brian Harman on Friday.
The four-time major champion needed a victory to have any chance of advancing from Group 6, but it is Harman who went through to the round of 16 with a resounding 5 and 3 victory.
McIlroy, winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational last weekend, follows defending champion Dustin Johnson and last year's runner-up Jon Rahm in making early exits at Austin Country Club.
Harman went one up at the third after McIlroy's approach dropped into the ravine and he failed to hole a lengthy putt for par.
The Northern Irishman conceded at the fifth to go two down and trailed by three at the turn, failing to match the high standards he set with his putter in the final round at Bay Hill last Sunday.
Harman stretched his lead to four shots with a birdie at 11 and the American's qualification was assured when McIlroy conceded at the 15th, with the victor now facing Bubba Watson.
Not a fun start for Rory.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 23, 2018
Golf is hard. pic.twitter.com/DLq647mbHA